Compassion – Episode 33

Do you find yourself getting easily impatient with others? Do you feel judgemental towards someone no matter how hard you try to let go? Having trouble finding compassion for the alcoholics and addicts in your life? Are you having trouble finding compassion for yourself? Listen as Swetha, Kelli, and Spencer talk about their understanding of compassion, the ways they have found it, or not been able to find it, and how it has helped their recovery.

Some of the questions we touch on are:

  • What is compassion?
  • How is it different from sympathy or empathy?
  • Why does compassion matter? Why do we talk about feeling compassion in the program?
  • What does compassion have to do with feeling serenity?
  • How/when do you struggle with finding compassion for another?
    • Why?
    • With whom?
    • what about finding compassion with/ for yourself? Is that a struggle?
  • How has compassion helped you to live with / co-exist with / deal with the alcoholic(s) or addict(s) in your life?

 

Our topic for next week is self-care. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
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Sponsorship Round Table – Episode 32

If you just want to do recovery all by yourself… If having a sponsor sounds frightening… If you’d like to have a sponsor, but you don’t know how to get one… Then keep listening as hosts Mark, of Recovered, and Kelli, of The Recovery Show, lead a joint round table about sponsorship. In this conversation with Mark and Kelli are Jason, Russ, Spencer, and Swetha.

Our round table was sparked by a voice mail from Bronte in Australia. She leads us into questions such as: What is Sponsorship? Why is it important? What to look for? What to watch out for? How do you develop trust? How do you get a sponsor?

Joe, from California, asks about changing sponsors. He wonders about questions like: Does changing sponsors mean giving up on the program? Is changing sponsors a bad thing? What might be a bad reason for changing a sponsor? May a newcomer change sponsors?

We also hear from Liz, in Florida, who recently changed her sponsor, raising these questions: How do you know when to change sponsors? What if you are not clicking with your sponsor? How do you break up with a sponsor?

During our discussion, we talk about our experiences being sponsored and sponsoring others in our fellowships. We address questions like these: How does sponsorship help the sponsor? Can any member be a sponsor? How do you get a sponsee? When is a member ready for sponsorship responsibility? What does a sponsor do and not do? What if you are asked for advice? Is there any one best way of sponsoring a newcomer? Is it possible to get too attached to a sponsee?

This is also episode 426 of Recovered.

Our topic for next week is compassion. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.

Step 7 – Episode 31

end of dayWhat is humility? How do we ask God to remove our shortcomings? Are they really defects?

Listen as Spencer, Swetha, and Kelli, back together at last, talk about Step 7, Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

We explore our understandings of the word “humbly”. It can mean that we accept ourselves as we are, that we are teachable, that we don’t blow things out of proportion, or that we don’t have expectations. When we humbly ask, we say “I am ready to learn a new way of being.”

The readiness we found in Step 6 is essential for us to ask for our shortcomings to be removed. We also know that not all our defects will be removed right away, that there is a process, and that they will go in our Higher Power’s time, not ours. We can start to see the effect these shortcomings have in our lives, even as we continue to act from them. By the time we get to Step 7, we may have some former defects that are gone, or “gone-ish”. This can help us to believe, to have faith in the promise of Step 7.

We each share personal stories of defects removed, lessened, or still present. Kelli and Swetha relate how they used their program, and particularly Step 7, during a “very, very long” 4 day “vacation” with their families of origin. Spencer tells, during the Lives in Recovery segment, of a very recent experience in which he had to use Steps 1 through 7 to regain serenity.

The 7th step prayer asks for removal of “every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows”. We look at various understandings of “defect”. They can be tools that are no longer useful. Swetha puts forth the idea that her character defects were put there by her higher power so that she could learn something, which we all relate to.

Next week, we will be recording a joint sponsorship round table with the Recovered podcast. Our topic for episode 33 is compassion. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
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Program in the workplace – Episode 30

How do you use your program in the workplace? Do you have a hard time setting boundaries at work? Do you find yourself staying late even though it affects your self-care? Can you deal effectively with your difficult co-workers?

Swetha, Kelli, and Mary share their experiences with these questions and others. Anne H. and Spencer also call in to share some of the ways in which they have used their program at work. They share specific problem situations from their workplaces, and talk about how they worked through them. Even when they weren’t completely successful at using their program tools, they look back and say “I could have used this tool here”. Listen for some great examples of the program in action.

Our topic for next week is Step 7, “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings”. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here. Some questions to think about: What is humility? Does the step tell us anything about when our shortcomings will be removed? What are “shortcomings” anyway? How do we ask humbly?

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Progress, not Perfection – Episode 29

Today, we’re going to talk about progress, not perfection. Ever feel like no matter how much you try, you fall short? Ever just want to give up because perfection just seems too hard to achieve, so why bother? Ever feel like the strides you do take forward just aren’t good enough? Join Kelli, Swetha, and special guest Wendy for this journey.

How do we see perfection or perfectionism? It seems that perfection is never achievable, because if we reach it, we must not have defined it correctly. We keep on moving the goal posts. Or, maybe you can relate to this statement: “Perfectionism is what I’m not. It is something better than what I am. It’s always got to be one level above, no matter where I’m at.” Maybe you tie it to control: if I could just get everything to fall into place … if I could only get everyone to do what they are supposed to do…  I can’t get there because there are so many things out of my control. Perfectionism leads us to do things only when we know we are good at them, otherwise we say “f— it. I’m not doing that.”

Perfection is not rooted in reality. Is progress rooted in reality? Is it reachable, tangible? It is more real, more attainable, kinder. Perfection is rooted in anger and sadness, while progress is rooted in elation and happiness. But it can be hard to see our own progress. The program has brought us a measure of self-awareness that lets us start to see our progress. It also lets us see when we are falling away from who we want to be and to get ourselves back on track, and to see our progress.

Swetha shares an affirming definition: perfection is who you are right now, progress is what you need to do so you can be perfect for tomorrow. You are exactly right now who you need to be so that you can be of maximum use to yourself and your fellows, and your higher power made it that way. (You may not like it, but that’s how it is.)

How can we measure, or even just see, our progress? What tools do we have? Our 4th step and 10th step inventories can show us our progress, especially if we compare a current inventory to a past one. I can take time during our daily prayer and meditation to look at where I at today. I can get feedback through my sponsor or other program friends. Someone might come up to me after a meeting and say “I really liked your share. I want to try that in my recovery.” And I will see my progress in a new light. We might find ourselves reacting in a new way to an old situation. We can support each other by complimenting others on their progress, when we see it. And when we see (or are shown) our progress, we can congratulate ourselves — not only is this OK, it is encouraged. Laughter and humor can be a great tool when we find ourselves reaching for perfection instead of being satisfied with progress.

Kelli shares a tool she uses. When she finds herself faced with an old trigger, she “hits pause” and then “plays the tape forward”, seeing how it might turn out if she reacts in her old behavior, or how a new response can lead to a more positive result. Then she can choose progress. And of course, she uses the Serenity Prayer to help her choose progress (what she can change) over striving for perfection (what she cannot change).

Wendy shared a quote by that prolific writer, Anonymous. “As I journey through recovery, more and more I learn that accepting myself and my idiosyncracies, laughing at myself for my ways, gets me a lot further than picking on myself and trying to make myself perfect. Maybe that’s really what it’s all about: absolute loving, joyous, nurturing self-acceptance.”

Our topic for next week is Program in the Workplace. Do you have a hard time setting boundaries at work? Do you find yourself staying late even though it affects your self-care? How do you use your program in the workplace? Please call us at 734-707-8795, use the voicemail button at the right, or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
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